Wednesday, October 31, 2007


November will be a great month for readers, bibliophiles, home schoolers, obsessive/compulsive book collectors and other sorts of bargain hunters and pack rats.

The following is a listing of Used Book Sales that I am aware of:

1 - Ripon

1-3 - West Allis

2-4 - Wausau

3 - Madison (Sequoya)

3 - Whitefish Bay

5 - Fond du Lac

6 - 10 - Green Bay

9 - 10 - Eau Claire

10 - West Allis

11 - 17 - Madison (Ashman)

16 - 17 - Appleton

17 - Kewaunee

19 - Fond du Lac

27 - Oshkosh




Multimedia clips have been all over YouTube and other sites on the Net of late regarding an act called "Damon Scott & Bubbles". Scott is a ventriloquist with a "monkey" for a dummy.
The video performance most seen is one from the British version of "The American Idol" show. Simon Crowell is even one of the judges in the UK production.
The clip is quite good and can be viewed at:

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


October 30th, 1938 ........ Orson Welles broadcast his "War of the Worlds" radio program. Thousands were terrorized.
Not me! I was 13 days old and was not yet into listening to the radio. I was specializing in drowning out the radio with my cries to be fed.
The broadcast was an amazing event. When you listen to recordings of that show now, it's hard to believe that so many people were duped. However, Americans were nervous with the conflicts which had already began in Europe and China and were primed to believe just about any terrible thing that they heard on the airwaves.
Orson Welles, a Wisconsin native, went on to many great performances. Citizen Kane is still regarded by many as one of the greatest movies every made.
I'm not sure how much radio I'll be listening to today. However, if I tune into PBS and hear Garrison Keillor talking about Martians invading Lake Wobegon, well ..........................
You can actually download the radio broadcast onto Real Audio and listen to the full one-hour show at

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THE NEW YORKER magazine recently ran an article by Anthony Grafton entitled FUTURE READING which deals with "digitization and its discontents". It is an excellent treatise on libraries, digitized books, reading, Google, and just about everything else related to how we are going to read and do research in the 21st century. The article touches on the history of reading, printing, and libraries.
It's an extensive piece. So be prepared to get immersed in an extensive treatment of the subject. You can find it at .....

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In April of 2006 the FOWL organization (Friends of Wisconsin Libraries) voted to disband the group. The WLA representatives at the meeting offered to meld Friends activities into the Trustee branch, WLTA (Wisconsin Library Trustees & Advocates). Ever since then efforts have been made to make Friends, Trustees & Advocates a united front as library related issues are faced. There has been much conversation about a potential name change to reflect the new relationship. (This will be on the agenda again at the November 10th WLTA board meeting).
It appears that the same sort of merger is currently under investigation at the national level as well. ALTA (American Library Trustees & Advocates) and FOLUSA (Friends of Libraries - USA) are experimenting with a "trial marriage" of the two organizations. Final decisions on the potential merger are to be made mid-year in 2008.
Information about this national experiment can be found at
Thanks to John DeBacher of DPI for alerting me to this situation.

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Monday, October 29, 2007


These days we seem to be spending a lot of time envisioning what the future will be like. This certainly is the case when we consider global warming, climate change, population growth, water depletion, energy sources, to name just a few.
Planning for libraries of the future is something that is going on very seriously in many parts of the country at this time. The library of the future is going to retain most of it's old roles and yet have many new roles to fill in our society. (And probably have to do it with fewer people and less money).
To get an idea as to the magnitude of the changes and culture shifts we will be facing this century, go to
It's humbling and frightening!

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Sunday, October 28, 2007


This photo shows some of the many Presidential candidates who have been debating each other and competing for their party's nomination. I believe primary elections will begin as early as January 3rd.
Many of us feel that this is way too early to begin this stuff. The cost will be just unbelieveable this election. Others feel that prolonged debate is the only way that Americans can truly find out what the candidates stand for, so as we can avoid some of the mistakes voters have made in previous elections.
For the latter group, TIME Inc. has started a new web-site that is devoted to displaying all the "juiciest political stories" each day. In addition to text information, it contains videos, a daily timetable for TV appearances by candidates, and programs discussing the election. There are links to campaign ads and TV clips from debates, talk shows and YouTube.
The site is orchestrated by journalist Mark Halperin and is called THE PAGE. You can find the site at
This could be a breakthrough approach in informing voters for this Presidential election!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Last night I recorded The Colbert Report on my DVR and watched it this morning. Per usual he was a riot.
Colbert is currently pushing his book I AM AMERICA (AND SO CAN YOU) very hard. He interviewed himself regarding the book on this show. He complained that he has video evidence that the communists at Powell's Books in Portland are already discounting the price on the book.
He highlighted a website called on which you can get details on his plan for book-based world domination.
In political related material he supported Obama's decision not to wear an American flag pin on his lapel. If Obama took off his coat you would not know what country he supported. In response, Colbert projected a photo which shows that he (Colbert) has an American flag nipple-ring, which removes all doubt.
Colbert also reported that Republican presidential candidates are avoiding George W. Bush like the plague. This is primarily because the plague has a higher approval rating!
Regarding Bush's status as a lame duck President Colbert said that he was lamer than Mallard Fillmore.
In this period of such serious stuff going on in our country, I think it helps to laugh at ourselves so we don't cry.

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A documentary film has been released regarding librarians. It pieces together film clips from famous movies (and some not so famous) that have included librarians. Some of the clips are complimentary.....some are not. The purpose of the documentary is to illustrate how this glorious profession has been depicted on the silver screen, thus influencing the general public's perception of what a librarian is.
The film was first shown at the ALA convention, and subsequently has been shown around the country (including in Wisconsin) during Banned Books Week which just concluded on 10/6.
You can check out the details on the film at

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007


The State of Oregon hit the news in recent months when a large number of libraries were forced to close. A significant portion of their funding came from Federal grants which were tied to the lumbering industry. When these funds disappeared, the CLOSED signs began appearing on library doors.

Many of these libraries are now reopening because their communities have contracted a private for-profit company to operate the libraries. Hours the libraries are open has been reduced, manning is at a slimmer level, and salaries are rumored to be lower as well.

There are many who are not in favor of this arrangement for a wide variety of reasons. You can check out the full article from on the Library Link of the Day site which you'll find at


Friday, October 05, 2007


It's a little early to be attempting to finalize which candidate you are going to support in the 2008 Presidential Election, but since the whole process started so early this time, perhaps not.
A friend forwarded the URL for a website which helps you make up your mind as to which candidate best represents your views. The site has a questionaire that takes just a couple minutes to complete, but gives very interesting results. Try it at



The 2007 WLA Annual Conference is fast approaching. This year's event is being held in Green Bay from October 16th through the 19th.

WLTA is presenting or co-sponsoring seven events this year. Thus the views of Friends and other library non-professionals will be well represented.

Be sure to check out the WLA website for details.


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Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge Device; trade-name: "BOOK".
BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use, even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere - even sitting in an armchair by the fire - yet, it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.
Here's how it works .......... BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder that keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density, for now, BOOKs with more information simply use more pages. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering informatiion directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.
BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though, like other devices, it can become damaged if coffee is spilled on it and it becomes unusable if dropped too many times on a hard surface. The "browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an "index" feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval. An optional "Bookmark" accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session - even if the BOOK has been closed. Bookmarks fit universal design standards, thus, a single Bookmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOK markers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the BOOK.
You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with optional programming tools, Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Styli (PENCILS). Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave. BOOK's appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking to invest. Look for a flood of new titles soon!
Note: This technology article was "lifted" from the USC Faculty Forum newsletter. The author is acknowledged to be "Anonymous".


Wednesday, October 03, 2007


They list five Technically legal signs for your library (plus one) relating to the Patriot Act.

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One of the advantages of radio is that you can listen to it while you are doing something else. And these Generation X-ers think they invented multi-tasking!
I have fond memories of my childhood when the entire family was in the living room listening to our favorite radio programs. Mom was sewing, Dad was always fixing something, my little sister was scribbling in a coloring book, and I was playing with cars or soldiers or something. Fibber Magee & Molly or Boston Blackie or some such program was filling the room.
You can still do this sort of thing today, while you are working on your computer. There are thousands of stations you can get over the Net. Try out the following: (United States)